Maribyrnong’s new mayor Michael Clarke has vowed to redouble the council’s efforts and to hold a rates summit as the municipality emerges from the COVID crisis.
The Labor councillor for Yarraville ward has made history as the municipality’s first third-time mayor.
Cr Clarke previously served as a mayor and councillor between 2006 and 2016.
He wasn’t returned in 2016 but succeeded in the October election.
“We’ve endured the jackboot of an epidemic,” he told last week’s council meeting.
“… We’ve finally overcome the yoke of this virus and we will arise and we will be better and we will be stronger.
“The business community must do more than simply survive – they must thrive for the good of us all.”
Cr Clarke said the council needed to look at how it could generate income and become financially sustainable outside of rates revenue.
“In my role as mayor, I commit to holding a summit to explore the question of what we can do to relieve the rate burden on our community,” he said.
“The strategic intent is to introduce an initiative, a solution, to reduce the calling on rates and reduce the outgoings of every rate-paying household in our community.”
He also vowed to work to prevent another disaster like the 2018 Tottenham industrial blaze that burnt for more than a week.
“What we’ve seen in the past is unbridled, rampant self-serving behaviour,” he said.
“What we’ve seen with the illegal storing of toxic waste by what is nothing less than a criminal element is seeing our community at risk.”
Cr Clarke is the Friends of Cruickshank Park secretary and has organised the Kingsville Christmas carols event for over 20 years.